Today’s prompt from The Daily Post is, You wake up one day and realize you’re ten years older than you were the previous night. Beyond the initial shock, how does this development change your life plans?
I woke up this morning. No, not the usual awakening after sleep. I mean I really woke up and saw my life. I had sleep walked for a decade.
The alarm clock, the catalyst responsible for my waking? Finding the personal mission statement I wrote and laminated ten years ago. It was dated August, 11, 2004. Holding it in both hands, I thought, “I took the time to write, print, and then laminate this. It must have been important to me then. How did I lose track of it?”
An image crossed my mind: I was kneeling and taping shut a box where I had placed the statement on top of several journals, as I prepared to move from Texas to North Carolina. This box was one of several boxes I had positioned “temporarily” in the basement room I claimed for my “official” writing space, when I first moved into my new home. Instead of a writing space, the room had become a storage place for unfinished projects, such as the family photographs with the albums in which I had planned to arrange them by dates or events. Right.
I slid down to the space next to the bookshelves I had purchased at a garage sale, intending to refinish them for my writing space. I read the mission statement, once, twice, then again. It was during the third reading that I woke up to the truth of my life. Little of what I had accomplished over the past 10 years or so had been intentional. I realized that, after the first two years or so in North Carolina, I ceased being active in my own life. I had gone with the flow dictated by agendas created with little input from me and certainly not guided by the mission statement I held now.
I felt hot tears of regret rising. “Enough!” I shouted out, and sprang to my feet. I thought of and armed myself with the words of my blogging friend, Sarah Lowther Hensley,* “Let’s do it! Let’s do it! Let’s start right this minute! It’s time for me to begin!” (This line is her rewrite of the classic line from Annie, “Tomorrow! Tomorrow! I love ya, tomorrow! You’re only a day away”). Snatching the color poster I had taped to the side of one of the bookcases three years before, I power walked to my car, keys and purse in one hand, the poster clutched in the other. My destination? A local hardware store to purchase paint for the bookcases, and whatever else was needed. Yes, there were weightier issues I needed to address but I purposed to begin with a task that I could complete today.